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I have an Apache Blackberry that has outgrown its pot. I am getting ready to transplant it into the ground. My concern is that the main cane has been growing diagonally in the pot. When I transplant it to the ground, may I tilt the plant so that the main stalk points upward? Or will doing so cause other problems?

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This is the same blackberry plant from my previous question which I asked about brown spots. It did not grow for several months since bringing it home from the nursery. In this past month, it had a growth spurt (maybe due to cottonseed meal fertilizer or the eggshells).

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    That cane looks young enough it should still be fairly flexible, so you should still be able to train it upward. I like to use large circular tomato cages to train my blackberry & raspberry canes upward. Once they reach the top of the cage, you can weave them around the metal hoops to keep them tidy. – WebChemist May 27 '14 at 4:35
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Plan how you're going to support and train your plant before you put it in the ground - it will need something in place to be tied/trained on. Second, no, don't tilt it in the ground, it's not necessary and will mean some of the rootball might be above soil level. Just plant it at the same height it is now - you can either just nip out the top of that cane, back to the next set of leaves, or back to a set of leaves lower down, and it will produce two new shoots at least from that area which you can then train onto your supports, or if its pliable enough, persuade what's there to become a little more upright over time by attaching it to your support/s.

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As far as I know blackberries are all vines. Just get a stake, poke it in the soil and train it by loosely tying it to the stake. Apache must be a thornless blackberry which will become very bushy-looking. You said you were going to plant it outside in the garden. Find a fence or make a trellis for it so that you can dictate how it grows.

I once pruned berry vines like this on a commercial garden. They put up 6X6 posts, about 4' high (out of the ground) with thick wire attached through drilled holes. There were two horizontal lines; one midway or two feet off the ground and the other at the top of the posts. As the plant grows, wrap it around the wires, low wire then high wire then the low one then the high one. Posts were 12' apart. Whatever fits for your yard. This helps with controlling the plant, easier to harvest, good ventilation and yearly pruning you'll have to do.

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  • And please use a complete fertilizer such as Osmocote 14-14-14. It is extended release and will last 4 months. Don't add stuff to the soil unless YOU understand what you are adding and why. Fertilizer is NOT PLANT FOOD. Plants make their own food! They do need a few chemicals with which to do their work but a little too much is worse than a little too little. – stormy May 26 '14 at 19:29

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